The Boston Celtics are going to their 22nd NBA finals.
In a back-and-forth series that culminated in a nervy Game 7, the Celtics outlasted the Miami Heat. Leading by double-digits multiple times, the Celtics somehow managed to let the Heat back into it, primarily off a heroic effort by Jimmy Butler, who followed up his 47-point Game 6 performance with a 35-point, nine rebound line. With the lead cut to two in the final minute, Butler was one-on-one with Al Horford with what appeared to be an opening to drive to the rim. Instead, he chose to go for the lead from behind the arc -- and it didn't land. The Celtics managed to extend their lead to four with two foul shots by Marcus Smart, and that was it for the Eastern Conference finals.
Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum showed out in Game 7. Smart had 24 points with nine rebounds and five assists, Brown contributed 24 with six rebounds and six assists, while Tatum led the team with 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Collectively, they scored on or assisted with 94 of the Celtics' 100 points, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Boston will move on to face the Golden State Warriors in the finals.
Athletes from around the sports world reacted to an exciting Game 7 -- and many gave kudos to Butler for attempting his missed three.
Yes siiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrr— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) May 30, 2022
Whattttttt— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) May 30, 2022
New media @Money23Green gone have a field day with this outcome!!!— andre (@andre) May 30, 2022
All you can ask for from a game 7. Basketball at it's finest. Fun to watch— Kelly Olynyk (@KellyOlynyk) May 30, 2022
Kobe Tatum— Evan Turner (@thekidet) May 30, 2022
Game 7 > holidays— JJJ (@jarenjacksonjr) May 30, 2022
Crazy game... I wish butler would have drove the ball to the basket... great game— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) May 30, 2022
Jimmy buckets 🪣 is that Dude.. he's done way more than anybody expected out of him 🙏🏿 true definition of beating the odds— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) May 30, 2022
This Warriors Celtics series is about to be 🔥🔥🔥— Calais Campbell (@CalaisCampbell) May 30, 2022
Kobe with @jaytatum0 tonite.— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) May 30, 2022
Looks like Draymond was right. Celtics and Warriors it is.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 30, 2022
Celtics Vs Warriors I think will be a better series than expected... still got warriors winning tho— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) May 30, 2022
I like that shot from my best player on the team 🤷🏾♂️... it's okay. Jimmy LIKE THAT forreal! One of my favorite players— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) May 30, 2022
Hindsight is 2020- Jimmy Butler has played 95 of the last 96 minutes. He has 82 points in the last 2 games. He can take whatever shot he wants. He's the only reason the heat are in the series, period!#HEAT— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) May 30, 2022
Not mad at that shot Jimmy.— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) May 30, 2022
I don't blame Jimmy— Miles Bridges (@MilesBridges) May 30, 2022
Hell yea https://t.co/X7bvahu9Hs— Philly Cheese 🧀 (@dionwaiters3) May 30, 2022